Another quick and easy mask pattern, darted front

I had some requests to modify the Fastest, easiest fitted mask pattern I posted earlier so it could be made with different fabric for the front and lining and here it is.


Do yourself a favour and read through the entire tutorial once before starting, some people have gone with just a quick glance at the photos and made some mis-steps. Reading through will not be a waste of your time, I promise.

@Kwality570 kindly rendered it and posted to G-docs, I neglected to add the 1" square for accuracy but it’s basically the same mask as the first pattern so print them both out if you need to compare sizes. I tried a LOT of darted patterns and none of them fit as well as the original I drafted so I just thought why not stick with what works.
You can see how I flattened the top edge for a fold that rests against the bridge of the nose for maximum comfort and fit.



I recommend creating a whole pattern as shown because it would be easy to misalign that narrow fold and cut a wonky fitting mask. Make note of the fabric grain, don’t cut this on a bias or it will stretch all kinds of weird.

When cutting front and lining pieces, DO NOT cut right up to the curved line as shown in the white fabric in the middle, you need to leave a bit of fabric because that curved line is the stitching line. I applied interfacing to the fabric before cutting rather than cutting that out in another step, this saves a lot of time for me.

You can see here how you need that extra fabric.

Sew and trim the seam allowance, I’m using a 3/8" seam allowance, you can use that or 1/4" which changes the sizing a bit so experiment. (this mask comes out a bit bigger than the original pattern, choose your seam allowance accordingly)
I’ve found pinking shears much faster than cutting away the extra fabric and snipping the curve.

Edge stitching the front seam allowance is optional.

Either way, make sure to press it in one direction and the lining seam allowance in the opposite direction so they can be lined up as shown:

The sides are sewn from the edges of the fabric as you see here. Start the top and bottom curved lines about 1 1/2" from the side stitched lines, leave a gap for turning at the bottom curve.

Trim the seam allowance as shown with pinking shears or clip the curves. Do not trim as far as the stitching, see how I’ve left about 1/2"? That is important.

Turn mask right side out, The 1 1/2" space left beside the side seams should be enough to pinch the opening so you can see the seam allowance and make sure it is open as shown, one side to each of the stitched line. You should have enough space to stick a finger or pencil in and readjust if necessary.

Fold over the seam allowance as shown. This step is really quite simple and quick, just try it and you’ll see. Press the mask at this point, it can be tempting to skip this step but it does make a difference and you’ll get much better results if you spend 2 minutes with the iron to align the seams before edge stitching.

Insert the nose wire in through the turning gap and press it right up against the top seam allowance, pinning the wire in place as shown. This is different fabric here, I’m borrowing photos from the previous mask for this step.
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The edge stitching is done in one continuous line including securing the wire in place. Don’t bother to back stitch as the end of the line will overlap where it started. Start where my finger indicates about 1/2-3/8" from the side edge, sewing around the entire edge, edge stitching about 1/8" from the top and bottom curved edges.
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To sew around the wire, pivot with the needle down, take a stitch or two to the bottom edge of the wire, pivot and sew right up against the bottom of the wire so it is snug, pivot again at the end and continue edge stitching to the side seam, stitch 1/2-3/8" from the side edge, edge stitch 1/8" from the bottom curved edge.
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I made a few in medium and small, they fit just as well as the original mask pattern.

If you are inserting a tie, I have been using about 8" for behind the ear style. I will cut a bit more and leave the ends untied so people can fit their own faces.
There are lots of tools you can use.
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Pinch the end open to avoid catching the seam allowance.
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Crochet hook is easiest for me, I angle it like this to avoid catching the seam allowance on the way out.
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Tie the ends, fit the mask, tighten the knot, trim off extra and pull the knot into the channel.

Some notes:

Large fits a man, med woman or older teen, small around 7-15 years old depending on size, extra-small under 7.

Interfacing makes for a better mask. If you are going to use it on only one part of the mask, put it on the lining rather than the outside fabric. I’ve tested this and it does work to keep from sucking in a mouthful of fabric on each inhale. On one mask I put it on the front and not the lining, I remedied the suffocation factor by edge stitching up the centre seam to attach the lining to the front fabric. It’s not perfect but it was an improvement at least.

A nose wire created a better fit and will help hold the mask up instead of slipping down and needing to be adjusted. Use about 4 inches of wire, anything that won’t rust. If you’re not sure, soak it in water overnight, then set it out on a piece of paper towel to see if it gets rusty.

Wash masks in a mesh bag and iron them when dry so they keep a good shape that’s comfortable to wear on the face. I’m not high-risk so I’m keeping a mask in the car for grocery trips and just leaving it in there on the dash. It gets worn for about an hour weekly, I don’t feel it needs frequent washing. When I wash, I hang to dry. You could also put a mask into a mesh bag and run it through a dryer cycle on high heat without washing it.

Ties can be replace with elastic, ribbon, twill/tailor’s tape, tshirt yarn, or strips of nylon stocking, shoe laces work too, particularly for behind the head ties rather than over the ear.

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After making a bunch of masks last week, my mom decided that your version of the mask pattern fit her the best. So, the one I made to test out the pattern has been confiscated by her :crazy_face: So, we’re currently cutting shirts up to make more. I think we’ll give this one a try, too! I like that the fabrics are different on the outside and inside. Thanks for doing all of the trial and error to come up with such a great pattern!

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My pleasure, it’s been fun. Please let me know if you have any questions. The side seam turning is a bit fussier than the first pattern but really still quite easy. Just make sure the seam allowances are flat to either side of the seam as shown in the photos, that part really reduces bulk and makes for the best fit I think.

The first thing I thought was…ooh! Someone could use fake fur and make a fake beard if the fabric would only be on the front. :slight_smile: Might get a little warm though.

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Wow, way to go!

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Love how you continue to refine the mask patterns.

I made use of one of your improvements to modify the mask pattern I had originally downloaded. It fit me alright, but didn’t fit my son or his friend Mike, who has been staying with us through the virus, very well. The modification made for a very comfortable masks for both of them! :slight_smile:

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Now you’ve got me thinking :rofl:

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You are a weirdo. The best kind! :bearded_person:

YES! Thank you for doing that & I would love to know which detail and/or see photos. Many of the modifications could be applied to existing mask patterns to make them quicker, easier, more efficient in construction. I took elements from mask patterns that were good but had room for improvement and incorporated them into my patterns. Then I tweaked my own patterns and tutorials based on feedback here. Everything can always be made better.

I made one, one of the tiny ones. It’s for a three year old.

Pattern works great. @Magpie although I had to do a bit of futzing to get the curve right. I think I might just skip the fold and cut out four separate pieces, that would allow me to stitch a smooth curve.

I’m also going to try putting in tee-shirt yarn ties before I do the final edge stitching, and sew them in place, rather than leave it as a channel. I just want to see how that would work.

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I have made a few of them and not had trouble with the curve, once the sides of the mask are aligned that part automatically lines up for me also. I’ll pressure my kids to help me with the video so y’all can see my steps, maybe that will be better than photos and wordiness. I sewed ties into a few earlier masks but opted for replaceable in case they don’t hold up to hot laundering.

I cut up some nylon stockings, they are amazing for ties. So stretchy and strong, they get super thin when stretched but are really soft and comfortable. I cut them with a rotary cutter so they look great too. I think I like them best and will send extras with masks I give away. I also asked a friend to make me some long bodkins to include, he used plastic welding rods, flattened one end and drilled a hole and rounded the other end. They are GREAT! I bought mesh bags for laundering as well and will give them out. I’m only making for close friends and family right now so it’s been low cost. Oh, and I crocheted a bunch of ear savers, they are so fast and will help me use up some of my ridiculous button stash, haha.

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Oh that’s a good thought re the durability of the ties. I won’t sew them in. The curve was ok, but I think that cutting four pieces will work better with my brain, also faster cutting out the pieces.

But in general, it’s another great tutorial and pattern. Thanks x

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You can see in the second photo the pattern I first used. The tweaks you inspired me to make were to cut the pieces on a fold and to extend the shape of the mask so that it covered my son and his friend’s chins completely. I also made the seam allowance greater at that center seam which made it easier to cut with pinking sheers.

I also reduced the height of the section cut on the fold and through which you thread the elastic. On the first pattern I used there was just too much fabric height which caused the fabric to gather/bunch up with the elastic over the ears. Having less height in that area allows the mask to hug the face better.

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I use forceps to thread the elastic through the mask. I had son and friend hold them on their faces while I measured elastic length needed. As a result there is no strain on the ears so they find them quite comfortable! :slight_smile:

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Quick question about the nylons, when you cut them into stripes, did the strips run down the leg or around the leg, because I’m guessing they have different stretch. How wide? And they didn’t just ladder into threads?

The baby one I made

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That is exactly what I did after trying that craftpassion mask. Nobody’s face is flat across the chin! It needs a curve to fit right. And the side parts gather very mildly with the folded over edge there because it’s essentially one layer of fabric instead of multiple so it makes for a better seal than folded over and over again. I applaud your application of the things that worked better for the pattern you were making, it’s that sort of innovation that tweaks something until it’s good-better-best!

@Edel I cut the stockings down the leg, they didn’t ladder at all, the edges just curled in like the tshirt yarn does. Your baby mask is so cute, lol. I’ve made a couple in that size for friends with a small one, I’ll ask them about fit once they try it out. I’m hoping it won’t ride up into the eye area. I made the mistake of wearing a large sized mask the other day and it was SO uncomfortable, ugh. I’m super happy there are multiple sizes of this so everybody gets something that fits their face.

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I had followed your improvements which were/are great! The only thing I didn’t do was download the pattern itself.

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I made a few more of these yesterday. Beware, due to the fact that the curved cutting line on the original mask pattern is now the stitching line for this one, sizing will increase a small amount. You can of course change this by using that curved line to indicate the seam allowance and stitching the curve 1/4" or so inside it.

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Fabulous fabrics!

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@AIMR sent them to me! I am using up every single scrap for a project to give to our farming friends and their kids. Just wait, I need it done by Wed when they’re dropping off our seedlings. I am SO excited to get it finished and give it to them, along with 2 sets of cute veggie face masks for each of them. I didn’t use the eggplant fabric for that, it has a naughty meaning they might not appreciate, haha.

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